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Brands That Create Value Are 'Energized'

For at least five years, the tried-and-true formulas to boost sales and market shares have been becoming increasingly irrelevant, say John Gerzema, chief insights officer at Young & Rubicam, and Ed Lebar, the CEO of BrandAsset Consulting who oversees Y&R's brand strategy and research.

A few brands, however, have bucked the trend. They share a set of "energized" attributes that companies can identify and exploit. Brands such as Adidas, iPhone, Pixar and Wikipedia communicate excitement, dynamism, and creativity in ways that the vast majority of their competitors do not.

Gerzema and Lebar identify three major problems: excess capacity, lack of creativity and loss of trust. They analyze 48 different brand attributes to isolate the metrics that capture brand energy. They say that differentiation is made up of the way consumers perceive three brand attributes (the offering, uniqueness, and distinction). And they identify "three attribute clusters that make up energy": vision, invention and dynamism. Then they offer a comprehensive five-step framework for building an irresistible brand by infusing it with energy. All in fewer than 5,000 words and only four charts.



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